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Top Story

Researchers discover how wildfires create their own weather

Scientists working close to the line of wildfires are obtaining a new understanding of the fires' smoke plumes. The results are providing real-time information, such as vertical wind profiles, to firefighters battling blazes. Through this National Science Foundation-funded research, a team of scientists has discovered that wildfires can create their own weather, leading to extreme fire behavior. In addition to conducting research at active wildfires in the western U.S., the scientists performed controlled field experiments, setting fires and monitoring their rapid spread through an array of atmospheric instrumentation. These studies gave the researchers information on how wildfires create their own weather systems. Those weather systems, in turn, fuel extreme fire behavior.

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